Cataract is a dense, cloudy area that forms in the lens causing vision problems and even blindness. Its origins are manifested by the appearance of lumps, which make it impossible to transfer a clear image to the retina.

Retina by converting the light passing through the lens transmits signals to the optic nerve and directs them to the brain, and as a result of cataract, this communication is much more challenging.

Development of cataracts gradually interferes with vision and may affect both eyes, but usually, it appears in the different time.

Types of cataracts

Although cataract is primarily related to age (most often affects people over the age of 60), there are also other types of cataracts:

  • Cataract acquired – can arise after surgery or as a result of other vision problems like glaucoma; can also occur as a consequence of other health concerns like diabetes (metabolic cataracts), or in connection with the use of steroids or other drugs;
  • Traumatic cataracts – a disease arising as a result of eye injury, may initially be difficult to detect, and often manifests itself only a few years later;
  • Congenital cataracts – some babies are born with cataracts, which is developing intensively in childhood, often touching both eyes; Congenital cataract often does not cause blindness, and early diagnosis makes it prevented;
  • A cataract that is resulting from radiation – developing after excessive exposure to particular types of radiation.

Cataract symptoms

Typical symptoms associated with cataracts are:

  • Blurry image,
  • Trouble with seeing at night,
  • Seeing faded colors,
  • Increased sensitivity to light,
  • Double vision in the affected eye cataract,
  • The need for frequent eyeglass changes.

The causes of cataracts

The lens of the eye acts as a prism and is located behind the iris and pupil, focusing light on the retina at the back of the eye. The purpose of the lens to adjust the sharpness of vision allowing us to see things clearly both up close and from afar. With age, some proteins (eye components) may begin to focus and create cloudy areas on the lens part, which is exactly the cataract. As time passed, the problem is growing, covering an even larger area, making it difficult for us to see.

Researchers suspect that several different factors affect the appearance of cataracts such as smoking and diabetes. However, there are cases in which the proteins in the lens change as a result of wear and tear, developing for years without any additional reason.

The main reasons causing cataracts include:

  • Overproduction of oxidants, which are oxygen molecules, and as a result of their daily functioning they undergo a chemical transformation,
  • Smoking tobacco,
  • Ultraviolet radiation, excessive exposure to the sun,
  • Long-term use of steroids and other drugs,
  • Some diseases, such as diabetes,
  • Mechanical injuries of the eye,
  • Radiotherapy.

The risk of developing cataracts include:

People suffering from certain diseases like diabetes,

Individuals who smoke tobacco excessively consume alcohol and the like.

People who are working or living in a dangerous environment where they are exposed to ultraviolet rays.

Risk factors that increase the risk of cataracts also include older age (over 40 years), obesity, high blood pressure, eye injuries, eye diseases in the history of the family, excessive exposure to the sun, exposure to X-rays and treatment of cancer.

Diagnosis and treatment of cataract

Diagnosis of cataracts begins with a comprehensive test of the eye that allows you to evaluate the vision and see if we have a cataract or other eye problems. The studies include measurements of eye pressure, the evaluation of vision at different distances, and others.

Treatment depends on the severity of the disease. In the early stages of a disease, the doctor usually helps cure the symptoms, suggesting stronger glasses, contact lenses or sunglasses with anti-reflective coating.

Surgical procedures are recommended when cataract prevents daily activities like reading or driving. This operation is also performed in the case of other eye problems. During the treatments used are ultrasound waves, laser or classical surgical instruments. Cataract operations are a very common procedure in the treatment of this uncomfortable eye problem, as their efficacy is as high as 90%.

If left untreated, cataracts can lead to blindness, so it is good to remember about regular eye control tests, particularly if we are at risk.

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